The Daily Digest

2,400 Minnesota National Guard troops are being deployed to Kuwait.

The Minnesota House will start putting together their first phase of their budget bill this week. House Ways and Means will start work on the bill this morning.

A key question is whether Republicans in the House and Senate modify their proposal after MMB’s Commissioner told them he doubted whether the Dayton Administration could squeeze $200 million in end of year savings out of the budget.

The GOP budget plan is just the first signal that there are major disagreements with Gov. Dayton on the budget.

AP says the GOP introduced a bill seeks high-tech policing for Minnesota tax cheats. It’s aimed at finding more money to fix the state budget.

House and Senate GOP leaders say they’re worried about Minnesota’s business climate.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will speak at a news conference this morning with Republicans in the Minnesota Senate. Bachmann will speak out against Gov. Dayton’s decision to expand Medicaid.

There will be legislative hearings on the Iron Range to discuss permitting issues.

The senior minister at Westminster Church announced Gov. Dayton would talk about homelessness at the church on Monday, Jan. 31.

Dayton was in Brainerd on Saturday to talk tourism and take part in an ice-fishing event.

Dayton and North Dakota’s governor played hockey together in high school and college.

Dayton will sit on the NGA’s executive committee.

Dayton names his picks to head Housing Finance and Higher Education.

Dayton put out an RFP for a new radio show.

MinnPost takes a look at Dayton’s cabinet.

Opponents of legalized abortion rallied at the State Capitol.

MCCL’s top priority is eliminating public funding for abortions.

Congress

Antonin Scalia will teach a Constitutional principles class today. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann organized the class.

Education Commissioner Arne Duncan pushed for Alternative Teacher Licensure during a speech on Friday.

Duncan also visited a Lakeville School with GOP Rep. John Kline. MinnPost says Duncan and Kline are two of the top voices on education policy.

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. The speech will focus on jobs and the economy.

The Washington Post says he’ll be hard to beat in 2012.

Legal bills for Fannie and Freddie cost taxpayers $160 million.

There could be a major campaign finance clash before the 2012 elections.

The Wall Street Journal says businesses plan to hire more workers.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar invited the CEO of Medtronic to the State of the Union.

Klobuchar also visited Duluth.

DFL Sen. Al Franken talked health care in Duluth.

DFL Rep. Collin Peterson praised an ethanol approval.

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

Gov. Pawlenty signs books in New Hampshire today and tomorrow.

Mitt Romney won a straw poll of GOP activists in New Hampshire on Saturday. Governor Pawlenty finished third (ahead of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who got fifth).

On Sunday, Tim Pawlenty published an op-ed calling on Congress to not raise the debt limit.

Fact Check says Tim Pawlenty’s views on climate change aren’t what they used to be.

Bachmann for Prez Watch

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann waded into 2012 waters on Friday night when she gave a 45-minute speech to an anti-tax group in Iowa.

You can listen to her speech here.

Bachmann also met with some key GOP officials in Iowa and some activists.

Her tardiness, however, irked some Republicans.

Bachmann also appeared on Fox’s Greta on Friday night.

Bachmann will deliver her own rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union.

Can Bachmann win Iowa?

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